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Dave Fragments

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December 25, 2007

This has been sitting on my hard drive. It's part of a long, long story that I decided to share for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwaanza, New Years, Winter Solstice, or whatever holiday you celebrate in the cold snow. Think of this as re-gifted fruitcake -- it's got a little too much fruit, not enough cake and way, way, way too much booze went into the cook and missed the cake. {D. Fragments}

2377 - March 15

"Chief Navigator's log part fifteen, subsection twenty-two, paragraph six, star date thirty-seven, forty-eight, fifty-two and five eights, Chief Navigator Darius Hyland recording. Lead Engineer Chad Dangles and I just finished processing six tons of heritage tomatoes into sauce and storing it for the cooks, computer close and submit report," Darius giggled as the computer closed the message and routed it to Chief Navigator's computer and eventually the Captain's scheduling computer. The two men stood in the anteroom of one of the many shower rooms. They removed their red-stained clothing and shook out the tomato seeds and skins. Recycle robots would scavenge the floor in a few hours. Everything on the Freighter was recycled.

"Doesn't the Captain get nuts when you record messages like that?" Chad asked. He stepped into the shower chamber. Darius followed him. The chamber was small for even two average sized men. Chad and Darius were big men, tall, well built and hunky. Soap and hot water hit them from all sides. Four hands hurried to scrub each other down before the shower shut off in four minutes.

"He only gets pissed off when I leave the messages in places where the crew can read them. I mostly do it in my log. The Robots see them but they're programmed not to react to insolence and insubordination the way humans do," Darius yelled over the water.

"I never thought about robots as having emotions. These robots are so efficient and businesslike. We never had robots this good at home," Chad said as he let the hot water rinse his body.

"You never had nothin' at home from what I could tell. The way you tell it, you grew up in a log cabin with a dirt floor and no runnin' water, barely a working outhouse, no TV, walked to school both ways uphill and ate corn meal mush three times a day. Sometimes I think you're a hick bumpkin from Pigbone Alley in Dogpatch, Kentucky other times, you sound like one of those stuck up New York sophisticates," Darius answered. The water stopped as fast as it had started. The two men moved away from the radiant heaters in the walls as hot air flowed up through the chamber.

"Aw shucks, pilgrim, you're too cruel. I'll have you know that I premiered the Pussy's Meow Aria from the local production of The Incontinent Impresario. How many hicks do you know sing grand opera?" Chad puffed up his chest and shoulders and pulled in his stomach. His broad shoulders contrasted with Darius's round, barrel-like build. Chad's body was all hard and angular while Darius' body was rounded and smooth. They were the same height but Darius was twenty pounds heavier than Chad. Darius flexed his muscles in reply to Chad's display. They played at being showoffs in their private moments.

"You sang in opera? What kind of opera do they perform in that god-forsaken backwater you call home?" Darius asked.

"Really bad opera," Chad laughed. He retrieved a pair of stretchy nylon shorts from the cabinet.

"Sing me that Pussy song you said you premiered." Darius laughed. Chad took a deep breath and at first sang a simple few notes. His voice was a rich bass baritone. Then he launched into an atonal aria that sounded simply awful. It was so bad, in fact, that Darius stopped him.

"Stop, stop, stop, that's all I ever want to hear of that music." Darius's face turned red after he said the remark. He hoped that didn't offend Chad. Culture in outer space didn't exist. Not much of what passed for the finer things of life survived the past 300 years on Terra and even less made it into outer space.

"We used to say that the best thing you could do for that music was to shut up and be quiet," Chad said. He laughed at Darius' embarrassment.

"No wonder you left Terra" Darius said as he winked at Chad.

"Makes your ears bleed and, and, and drives the rats away," he stuttered nervously. "It's a marriage proposal from the transvestite prostitute to the incontinent midget impresario. The midget doesn't accept because he so drunk he's thinks that the man is yelling at him for pissing in a flowerpot onstage. That's what was passing for class nowadays. It was five excruciating acts that lasted too long, too long, too, too, too long." Chad put both hands around his neck and pretended to strangle and gag. The two men laughed.

"That was, that is, that was just so amazingly awful. I mean really, really bad, significantly terrible, overwhelmingly pathetic, and brain-bangingly, appalling bad. What Jovian Jelly-dick would ever want to hear something that dreadful?" Darius grimaced. Chad laughed.

"Gee golly whizzies, dude, don't mince your words, do ya? I once drove away rampaging hoards of cockroaches with that aria and several dozen mosquitoes died onstage when we did an outdoors performance. I'll tell you what, I'll sing you some good, old and well-respected German Lieder," Chad said. He cleared his voice and set his stance. He began to sing another aria. This time, the melody flowed and Chad's rich and vibrant bass baritone voice rang clearly through the corridor. Darius didn't understand German but the tune was lively, animated and fun. A small crowd of men gathered and listened. When Chad finished Darius stood astonished and nearly speechless. Chad waved the crowd away. He put his arm around Darius and pulled him down the corridor.

"With a voice like that..." Darius said. He couldn't finish. He'd had grown up on a farm without the finer things in life and now, to discover that Chad not only had a good voice but a gifted voice pushed him nearly to tears. Chad smacked his shoulder and laughed.

"The song relates the tale of Anthony of Padua. One day when no one came to his church, he went to the beach and preached to the fish. The sermon was so good that the fish came out of the water to hear it and when he was finished, the fish returned to the sea leaving him alone once again. No one sings it anymore. It's a part of a song cycle from Terra circa 1900. It's called, surprisingly enough, the youth's magic horn."

"The youth's magic horn," Darius laughed at the double entendre. "Why aren't you still singing opera somewhere?" Darius asked.

"That should be obvious. I'm a certified genius with machines. Engineering was so easy and straightforward to me that the best universities begged me to study at them. Mathematics is even more exciting to me than singing. Quantum phenomena are like a second language for me. That's why I'm Lead Engineer on a freighter and not singing opera on Earth,"

"But," Darius started to talk but couldn't. He tried to hide his emotional response to the music. Chad saved him again.

"No buts about it. Well, I should say my butt was what it was about it. The way to get ahead in the opera world if you were young, talented, humpy and sang reasonably well was to get butt fucked by the impresarios and voice coaches. It's not that I don't like the butt fucking. You're the best butt fucker I've met. I simply refused to have anal intercourse with wrinkled agents, effeminate PR reps, creepy conductors and drooling rich donors who give lots of money to the house. Most of them required the latest virility drugs to even get it up," Chad winked at Darius's shocked face before Darius could sputter out a nonsense words.

"You mean I wasn't your first and you weren't a virgin?" Darius joked.

"No you weren't, Darius. You know, for a city boy, you're such an innocent in a world of wolves. Isn't all of this spaceflight much more exciting than working at Amalgamated Acme making unknown widgets for obscure gadgets and fitted into even more incomprehensible thingamajigs wrapped in clear plastic hoo-hah," Chad asked.

"Hoo-hah? Widgets? I never made thingamajigs. I'd never be caught dead making widgets and working for ass-kissing weasels. I'll have you know that nothing is more tedious than this job - big title, monotonous work," Darius said. They walked down a long corridor towards the transport tubes.

"Not widgets but doodah! Isn't that what you mean doo dah, doo dah," he sang softly adding, "I've shoveled lots of doodah growing up on the farm. We aged it and spread it around the fields," Chad pretended to throw stuff around the platform. They laughed and walked to the transit corridor and signaled for a car.

"So that's how you became the best bullshit artist we got on the good ship Ludwig Leichhardt," Darius parried.

"At least our beloved Captain treats the ship like its namesake did something great. I presume you read dear old Ludwig's bio. He was one of Australia's least likely heroes," Chad remarked. He looked sideways at Darius and raised his eyebrows expectantly.

"Yeah, they scraped the bottom of the barrel for that character," Darius answered. The transit car arrived and they got into it. They keyed in the location of the officer's quarters. The inertial dampening lagged as the transit car accelerated to top speed. Inertia pressed Darius and Chad's bodies together.

"Don't think this means were going to be swapping chewing gum in long, passionate kisses," Chad joked. He made his voice deep and resonant. It vibrated Darius' chest. Darius felt his libido rise. He wrapped his arms around Chad.

"Why not? I'd like that," Darius said. Chad eyes narrowed at the comment.

"I thought you and the Captain were a couple and I didn't want to break you up," Chad answered.

"Oh, hell no, we've known each other through high school and college. Back on earth, we might have paired up but when we enlisted, we gave up any thought of being lovers. Now that Luke is First Mate, he has way too much work to handle in a relationship," Darius answered. The carrier lurched again and braked. Darius wrapped his arms around Chad's muscular chest. They embraced.

"Gee, I never thought of it that way. That would be a problem," Chad hugged back. This was working out to be a good day. He liked Darius and nibbled his neck.

"I'll make you sing for your supper," Darius whispered into Chad's ear. The carrier jerked to a stop.

"A lieder a day will keep me happy." The door of the carrier opened for them to exit. They bounced out of the transit car.

"And never sing that atonal crap again," Darius added. They embraced and kissed as the transit car pulled away. They thought they were alone.

"Well, ain't that poignant? It's so cute when they act like a love struck schoolgirls. Goldilocks and his new lover Dingleberry just proposed playing house together," Digger said. Chad and Darius jumped apart. Normally this platform was empty. Today, three men stood in the shadows. Malachi Hillenbaugh, and his constant companions Torvald Olmstead and Bradley Sargento stood on the platform. The three were the so-called political liaisons on the Freighter and were the only non-recruits on the Freighter. Their nicknames were Digger, Cheese and Torch.

"Holy fucking horseshit Digger, you scared the crap out of us," Darius said.

"I just wanted to say hello and visit the privileged crowd on the privileged decks," Malachi sneered.

The rumor mill began within moments of Digger arriving on the Ludwig Leichhardt in 2365. The gossips described him as the reprobate son of a rich political bigwig and gay lover of the Freighter Guild's retired Minister of Appropriations. The gossips said that he got his nickname from his magic act back on Earth where he could hide all sorts of foreign objects in his rectum only to dig them out for money. His best friend Bradley or Cheese as they called him got his nickname from constantly humming a commercial jingle from the 1990's. The crew wanted to call him "wiener" or "Oscar" but his Digger wouldn't let them. Half of the crew feared anyone who possibly had political influence. There were also rumors that some childhood accident caused Cheese's apparent mental retardation and guilt kept him at Digger's side. Captain Enso stepped into the entire mess and forbid rumors and gossip. He demanded an end to the name-calling and brawling within a week after Digger and Torch arrived on the Ludwig Leichhardt.

A communications officer almost immediately disobeyed the Captain's orders by eavesdropping on Digger's phone call to his father begging for his return to earth. On the phone, Digger protested that the drugs caused the breakdown, and that they never agreed to work in outer space. As a result, everyone on the Ludwig Leichhardt knew of Digger's mental breakdown and subsequent banishment into space by his family. Captain Enso exercised his century-old rights as Captain and supreme authority on the Ludwig Leichhardt and had the communications officer downgraded from a human to mere robot. He installed the communications officer's mind in the garbage processor as its only controller. He placed the communications officer's physical body in long-term stasis for however long the journey to the new world took. There was no appealing the Captain's decision. No one ever defied Captain Enso after that incident.

Digger and Cheese settled into "mid" deck. It was the least populated and most isolated deck on the freighter. Over the ten years of construction, they performed their political liaison duties to the best of their abilities. On several occasions, they saved the Ludwig Leichhardt from political delays and legislative defundings. Digger and Cheese actively fought for better equipment for the Ludwig Leichhardt. They earned themselves the respect of the crew and their Captain.

Torvald Olmstead arrived on the Ludwig Leichhardt a year before launch. His brief listed him as "Chief Investigative Officer with No Assigned Duties" and he was responsible to no one but Captain Enso. Within days, he received the nickname Torch because of his smoking habit. He smoked ersatz tobacco products constantly, chain-style, nonstop. He smoked everywhere - the shower, his spacesuit, on the crapper, in bed, during sex, and even, some said, when he slept. The Captain assigned him no duties and he took to hanging out with Digger and Cheese. After several crew members caught him sucking off Cheese's huge cock in public places, the Captain banished him to "Mid" deck. The rumor mill described him as the Digger's illegitimate brother by a mother of irreligious and plague-damaged DNA. After the launch, they rarely appeared to anyone away from "Mid" deck.

"Look, Malachi, you should stay on M deck and your chores. The Captain has told you before not to wander and disrupt the crew," Darius stood away from Chad and put his hands on his hips in a determined and commanding manner. Digger laughed and used the words, the special words that no one was supposed to know. Darius and Chad froze. They tried to move but their bodies ceased obeying their minds. They couldn't even talk.

"Ah, Goldilocks, you can't talk down to me like that anymore. I'm making myself Captain. Now what do you have to say about that?" Digger asked. He sneered at the two men as Torch and Cheese laughed.

"What? Can't talk? Huh? Well, you can talk if tell me how wonderful it will be for me to be Captain. Go ahead say it. Say Malachi Hillenbaugh is a wonderful captain. You can say that," Digger leaned his face close to Darius's face.

"Malachi Hillenbaugh is a wonderful captain," Darius said much to his surprise. He couldn't refuse or resist Digger.

"You too, Dingleberry, Chad, wife to be, you can say it," Digger looked at Chad's green eyes. He wanted to rape Chad's body but this wasn't the time.

"Malachi Hillenbaugh is a wonderful captain," Chad said mechanically. He couldn't even show that he didn't want to say it. Digger made them repeat the sentence for an event recorder. He bragged how he was going to play their new message for the crew. Digger and his buddies took turns gloating over their victory and mocking the two men.

"I think that you're dressed inappropriately for the occasion. You won't mind if Torch and Cheese undress you?" Digger said. He waved a large knife at Darius and proceeded to cut his singlet off. The knife was cold and sharp. He did the same to Chad. Torch and Cheese dressed the two in yellow flower outfits with bonnets in the shape of sunflowers and other streamers and ribbons to match. Their genitals and asses were exposed and bedecked with little yellow ornaments.

"Now, I want you two boys stay right here. You are not to move from this spot. I command you to stay fixed to this spot, unmoving, just like good statues. You'll represent the boyhood dreams of the entire crew. What they want to be when they grow up. Do you understand me? If you do you can say yes Master and emphasis the Master," Digger said. Even though Chad and Darius brains screamed no and demanded their bodies resist, their bodies obeyed Digger.

"Good boys, Good boys, now I'm going to give you new names. I want you to remember and obey. When someone calls you by your new names, Goldilocks and Dingleberry, you will each say the following in a bright and cheery voice: Chad, you can say... I'm going top give Darius love injections in his cute, bubbly asshole after Captain Digger marries us. You can diddle my ass with your finger until then just leave my cockles and mussels to him... Chad, say it now, Dingleberry," Digger sneered at his mischief.

"I'm going top give Darius love injections in his cute, bubbly asshole after Captain Digger marries us. You can diddle my ass with your finger until then just leave my cockles and mussels to him," Chad wanted to throw up at the thought of saying those words.

"Darius, you can say... Oh, my lover is so cute. I love his cockles and mussels. Please pull my finger and see if I fart. If I you jerk me off and make me squirt, I'll let you watch the wedding night... Darius, I want you to say that in a chirpy voice like Squeaky the mouse. Say it now, Goldilocks," Digger said. Cheese and Torch could barely keep from laughing. Darius repeated the sentence.

"Oh, my lover is so cute. I love his cockles and mussels. Please pull my finger and see if I fart. If I you jerk me off and make me squirt, I'll let you watch the wedding night," Darius' voice squeaked. He spoke in a cheery, high-pitched and suitably squeaky voice. Digger and his men nearly fell on the floor in laughter. They had the duo repeat the phrases several times each while they mocked the two officers. Darius and Chad never moved.

"Good, let's move onto step two. I'll incapacitate the Captain in the same manner. After that, the ship is ours," Digger said.

They left the petrified Chad and Darius standing on the platform and quickly moved towards Captain Takeshi Enso's quarters. Along the way, Cheese deactivated the fire alarms as an essential part of Digger's plan. Digger put on special cotton gloves to prevent DNA and fingerprint transfer to a large wrench. He joined Torch and Cheese in banging on the bulkhead walls with wrenches and hammers. They screamed for help. Captain Enso opened the door to his cabin and stepped outside.

"What's happening out here? Why are you pounding on the bulkhead walls?" Captain Enso demanded. At six foot, eight inches, He towered over the three men and acted in an assured and assertive style.

"It's Chief Navigator Darius Nordstrom and Lead Engineer Chad Dangles, Sir, something's happened to them. They're standing there, in the hallway, not moving, not answering. That's where we found them, on the carrier platform. They act like statues but they are breathing and still flesh and blood. It was so startling we need help. We need guidance," Digger said with concern in his voice. He pulled the Captain by the shoulder away from his cabin door and down the corridor. The Captain stopped and stared at the ridiculous appearance of his Chief Navigator and Lead Engineer.

"What the hell is going on here? Why are they standing in the corridor? What is that rubbish they're wearing?" the Captain half said to himself half to the three men with him. He walked up to Darius and Chad and shook them by the shoulders.

"We just got off the transport and there they were standing there motionless, dressed like this. Something must have happened, something bad," Digger added a certain hysterical tone to his voice. He thought that would be a nice touch.

"And you're a bloody fool to think that," the Captain growled. "This is idiotic. Darius, Chad I order you to attention! Stop this," the Captain said sternly. Chad and Darius couldn't move. They couldn't talk. They couldn't tell the Captain he was in danger.

"Last week, I overheard them talking about getting married and living together. Maybe this is their way of telling everyone. You know love does strange things," Cheese said.

"Oh, horseshit, that's not the reason. Do I look like I'm stupid? If they wanted to live together or get married they wouldn't have done this shit, something else is going on here, something vile." The Captain looked at him coldly and analytically.

"How do you mean bile sir? Is bile what happens in a gall bladder attack?" Torch asked. The Captain looked at him. He was trying to figure out if the man really didn't know what vile meant or was acting sillified. Torch wasn't the brightest bulb in the universe. That was the last new word his children used before he left Earth. Sillified, such a stupid word to think of now. The Captain sighed and came back to the current situation. He didn't notice that his daydream gave Digger a chance to slide behind him.

"Well, you know what they say about love, Captain - out in the middle of a football field, you never can tell what a heel will wield," Digger said. The Captain rolled his eyes and didn't even look at Digger. He started back to his quarters. Cheese moved ahead so he could intercept the Robot when it came into the doorway of the cabin.

If Chad and Darius could have moved, they would have grabbed Digger and take the large wrench from his hand. Digger trailed behind the Captain. He hid the wrench behind his back.

"What I meant is that this behavior isn't typical of either Darius or Chad. They wouldn't subject themselves to this type of ridiculous display." Captain Enso stopped at the door to his cabin. It slid open automatically.

"Do you mean to say that someone did this deliberately?" Digger asked in mocking tones.

"I hope you didn't have anything to do with this. You were well known for pulling extravagant horseshit like this back on Terra and onboard since we launched the Ludwig Leichhardt. I'm going to have my valet, Robot Bobby328 initiate a full-scale investigation. He'll get the surveillance tapes and then we'll know for sure who did what and what happened out there. The ship records everything," The Captain said.

"A full-scale Robot investigation, are you sure? That seems like overkill for so simple a problem," Digger tried to excuse the display of Chad and Darius as statues. He whispered the control words into the Captain's ear but nothing happened. He repeated the words a little louder and again, nothing happened. Not understanding, the Captain lost all patience with Digger and his made-up explanations of the situation.

"What the fuck are you saying to me? Don't talk that silly gibberish of yours to me. You like to prattle on like a baboon," the Captain growled. He tapped his belt buckle. His manservant, Bobby328 appeared in the doorway. Alarm messages formed in the Robot's computerized brain.

"Aw fuck," said Cheese as the Robot started to push him aside. He jammed a portable electric power generator against the Robot, Bobby328's body. Its charge was strong enough to fry the memory chips inside the Robot and destroy most of its circuitry. The Robot smoked and burst into flame. Startled, the Captain tried to pull Cheese away.

"Stop..." the captain never saw the wrench that Digger swung against the side of his head fracturing his face and skull. Torch caught the Captain as he fell and dragged him into the cabin. He threw the Captain's limp body onto his bed. Then he brought up a fire extinguisher and doused the destroyed Robot in chemical foam. The foam penetrated the robotic body to prevent a secondary fire or explosion. They moved the robot over to the Captain's side and triggered an automatic foam fire unit to cover both the Captain and the Robot. Digger replaced the spent fire extinguisher.

"I thought you said that those commands would work on the Captain?" Cheese said. Digger raised the bloody wrench forcing Cheese to lean backwards out of reach of the wrench. Instead, Digger grabbed Cheese's shirt and yanked him close. He spoke in a guttural whisper.

"I only have influence over half the Robots. It takes a long time to teach them how to be duplicitous and deceitful. Now shut up. The Captain said there's a recording. Find the disc and erase it or you've told the world our secret," Digger whispered.

"Aw shucks, sorry Digger. I didn't think," Torch mocked Cheese's voice and manner. Digger ignored him.

"You never think. There's an elf on Deck F. We call him Mary Queen of Scots. Now find that disc and destroy it," Digger ordered. He had to warn the men on Deck F about the joke. It was a nonsense game. Cheese liked it. Digger always told him that big words and subtle humor got lost inside his mostly vacant head. Torch couldn't figure out why they did it. Neither of them was stupid, slow or in any way mentally impaired.

"So now you just shut up and throw this wrench into the recycle unit," Digger handed him the wrench. Two days ago, they reprogrammed one of the recycled units on the Captain's corridor for immediate destruction. Normally the recycle units only emptied themselves once a day. Torch dropped the wrench inside and closed the hatch. The unit turned the wrench to plasma and channeled the energy to the recycle reactor.

"Full fathom five, Dude, full fathom five," Torch said as he returned. His allusion surprised Digger. He never thought that Torch read, let alone knew poetry from old Terra.

"Move faster, we have to get away from here before the fire squad arrives. If we're lucky, we can catch Lukas Everhard-Wallace, the First Mate alone in the control room. You got that Stasis bomb ready?" Digger asked as Cheese opened a panel to reveal a maintenance shaft. Torch studied a small oval shaped device and pointed it at his head. He'd never seen a portable stasis unit before. Most likely, this was the only one in existence. Digger slapped his hands and ripped the device from him.

"Idiot, that's not the arming light, that's the trigger. Do you want to end up in stasis for three months?" Digger yelled.

"I was just seeing if the armed light was on?" Torch whined like a small child. It wasn't often he had to playact the part of a stupid, bodybuilding dumbbell. He'd have to ask Bobby001 in his next entangled message about the portable stasis unit and Malachi's research back on Terra.

"Idiots, I'm surrounded by idiots," Digger grumbled and pushed Torch into the maintenance shaft before he could answer. The fire alarms reactivated. Small red lights blinked and flashed from the Captains cabin and the hallway above the fire extinguisher cabinet. Digger, Torch and Cheese slid down the maintenance shaft out of sight before the Robots arrived to put out the fire.

The three men reappeared five decks away from where they started hoping that no one would suspect them of beating the Captain. They fell out of the maintenance shaft through a ceiling vent and landed on a conference table inside the Command deck. The screen covering the ceiling vent ripped their clothing and scratched their bodies. Surprised, Luke Everhard-Wallace, First Mate and Officer on deck, stared at them from outside the conference room. The three men landed on top of each other in a dusty lump. Coffee cups broke and coffee splattered. Charts slid and crinkled. Portable navigation equipment bounced off the table and onto the floor. Luckily, gravity on Command deck was only about a half earth-gravity. They didn't suffer internal injuries, just bruised egos. In the confusion, Digger lost hold of the Stasis device. Torch rolled onto his back, grabbed his nuts and doubled up with both his legs in the air.

"He landed on my nuts. He landed on my nuts. Oh God, the pain that no man should know," Torch moaned. Cheese leaned over and looked at Torch. He had a stupid grin on his face as he stood up. His head brushed the ceiling and he wobbled while standing on one foot.

"I can fix it. I can stop the hurt," Cheese said as he brought the other foot down on Torch's hand. Torch screamed and held his hand. His fingers were already red and swelling.

"There, now won't feel your nuts anymore and you won't remember they hurt," Cheese announced. Still lying on the table, Torch kicked Cheese's feet out from under his body. He landed on the edge of the conference table and fell onto the floor cursing and screaming.

"Stop this juvenile bickering. Who read that diagram and told me that we could travel through that maintenance shaft? Can't you guys get anything right?" Digger extracted his arms and legs from under their bodies.

"Sorry Digger, it must have been the next corridor over," Cheese pulled his legs out from under his body and brushed the dust off his clothing.

"That's quite an entrance, Malachi, Torvald, Bradley," Luke used their real names. "Is there a good reason for your explorations of the maintenance shafts or was this only an impromptu jump into the darkness? Captain Enso won't be happy when he hears you halfwaywrecked his conference room."

"We're not supposed to be in the conference room. We're supposed to be three decks away from here," Digger said. Luke shook his head and tapped the control console for the Robot housekeepers to come and clean up the mess.

"You guys never cease to amaze me. You know, if the Captain was here, he'd have your asses hauled away and thrown into the brig for a week or so," Luke laughed and turned to leave the room. Digger fired the stasis unit at point blank range. A white energy field surrounded Luke. He fought the stiffness as it enveloped his body. It took about thirty seconds for the white blankness of the stasis field to fill his mind. The last thing he felt was Digger moving his stiff body out of the doorway of the conference room.

"You two guys are useless, absolutely useless. You screw up the path and land us right in the middle of the control room. I didn't want Luke to know what happened to him," Digger said. He passed the stasis device off to Torch.

"He fell on my nuts!" Torch whimpered.

"He kicked me off the table!" Cheese whined.

"He stomped my fingers!" Torch sobbed.

"Shut up!" Digger yelled. "What are you, babies or men?" Both Torch and Cheese stood without another moan, whine, wheedle or whimper. Digger moved to the consol so he could pretend that he had summoned the cleaning crew. He acknowledged the fire alarm in the Captain's Quarters and summoned the med-techs to the control room. The med-techs were a lighter and more agile version of the standard Robot. He directed them to Luke's frozen body.

"We fell through the maintenance shaft and found First Mate Lukas Everhard-Wallace just standing there, frozen and immobile," Digger said. The med-techs quickly determined that the First Mate was in stasis.

"Nothing we can do about a stasis field surrounding the First Mate until it dissipates. You three have scratches and bruises from your fall. We'll dress you wounds and then you can go," the head med-tech said through a speaker that doubled for its mouth. They med-techs began to poke and prod Digger, Torch and Cheese. Digger swatted them away.

"I'm getting an alarm in the Captains quarters," Digger pointed to an alarm on one of the control panels. A metal probe from the Robot touched the panel and sucked out the information. The med-tech reeled it back into his body. Digger backed away from the med-tech.

"Thank you for noticing. I'll dispatch a medical team to see why," the med-tech answered.

"Good, keep me informed. I'll stay in the control room until we can organize a relief for the First Mate," Digger said. The med-techs agreed and left the control room. Digger held his hand up to both Torch and Cheese to make sure they didn't say anything. He pointed to the recording devices in the ceiling. Both men acknowledged his warning.

"I'm going to summon the communications officer Chad Nordstrom. Go and wait in the conference room. Don't touch the fucking controls if you don't know what they are. Do you understand that kiddies?" Digger glared at Torch and Cheese. They wandered meekly into the conference room and stared playing cards. Torch took the opportunity to hide stasis the device in one of the drawers in the conference table. He had absolute control of one Robot. Torch wanted the Robot reverse-engineer the device. The robot would be able to retrieve the device when the no one was around.

Within minutes, the med-techs found Captain Enso's body. News of the assault spread through the Freighter. The med-techs also found the frozen bodies of Chad and Darius. Dozens of wild rumors flowed through the control room trying to determine who would control the Freighter now that the top three officers were incapacitated. He thought about sending Digger and Torch out to fuel the rumors, but he didn't have to do that. To his surprise, the crew already had two conspiracy theories making the rounds and a devastating rumor that a rare and deadly vacuum-resistant crotch fungus was on the ship.

Digger summoned David Nordstrom, the communications officer to the control room. His plan wanted to announce to the crew that he, himself, Digger, the Political Liaison Officer, would assume command of the Freighter. He made sure the Robots were gone.

"Nordy boy, we have a situation here. No one ever expected the top three officers to be out of commission at the same time. I think it's up to you to solve the chaos before it completely envelopes the crew," Digger picked at his fingernails with a small pocketknife while he talked. He carefully said the words that he thought might control Nordstrom. Nordstrom smiled.

"Those words won't work on me. I've heard them all before. I want to assure you that I am here to help you." Nordstrom said. Digger's eyes narrowed.

"You'll have me at a loss," Digger said. This man could be dangerous, he thought.

"Not my intention, sir, I assure you it's not my intention. You are correct about the transfer of authority. Command succession is outlined in the Ops Manual 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] on page 9,467 upper deck. You could have control of the Freighter under any circumstances if you simply declare an emergency. The Manual doesn't spell out what an emergency is but this surely qualifies. It's amazing what you can find if you read the rules," Nordstrom said. He took out an electronic pad and punched up the Ops Manual. Digger read the words that put him in control of the Freighter.

"Yes, yes, yes amazing what you can find if you read the rules," Digger mumbled to himself as he read. Torch and Cheese stared over his shoulder. He handed the pad back to Nordstrom. Digger opened the door to the conference room and then squared-up his stance, brushed off his clothing and made himself look presentable.

"Well then, as political liaison I declare an emergency and assume control of the Freighter," Digger announced. Cheese and Torch barely looked up from their card game.

"You life-long dream come true, Digger." Cheese said.

"Just think of the glory, acting captain of the Ludwig Leichhardt, a freighter hauling frozen assholes to some distant planet," Torch discarded on of his cards and took two more. It was blatant cheating but he knew that Cheese had dealt himself the four aces.

"Heartless bastards, you'll pay for your insolence," Digger laughed and closed the door. He went back over to Nordstrom.

"Can you do anything to calm the crew, rumors are running rampant?" Digger moved the conversation in the direction he wanted it to go.

"I can take care of that," David Nordstrom moved to the communications console and activated it.

"Computer, this is David Nordstrom, communications officer of the Freighter Guild Ship Ludwig Leichhardt, Confirm ID for repeating, ship-wide announcement."

"Oohlala honey-pie, say the magic words, big boy and you can have anything you want," the voice from the computer was uncharacteristically feminine and overtly sexual. Nordstrom blushed but he continued. Digger listened intently. He never imagined that Nordstrom even had sex. The man always acted like a boy scout goody-two-shoes.

"Reeling saucy strumpets," Nordstrom said. He smiled at Digger trying to excuse his eccentricity. Digger ignored it.

"One thing you should say is that Chad and Darius did this to celebrate their nuptials and that their predicament has nothing to do with the attack on Captain Enso. And one more thing, you should announce that First Mate Lukas Everhard-Wallace accidentally shot himself with a stasis field and he'll be out of commission for two or three weeks, maybe months. You should say all of that. Make it sound happy, cheerful and not dramatic or threatening," Digger added.

"A major announcement, great, Captain Enso used to restrict me to one line memos and no adjectives for color. Give me a few minutes and I'll have a press release worthy of the good ship Leichhardt. It's been so long since I had to make a major announcement. You'll be so proud of this. Did I ever tell you that I used to write these for a soccer team? Then one fateful day, I used the opposing team's names in a little poem about their sisters and incest and the team demoted me to merely a wiener grabber in the ballpark. I spent three days grabbing wieners and that's when I decided to enlist in the Freighter Guild..."

"Too much information, Nordy-boy, too much information. Concentrate on the situation," Digger said. This man actually seemed to want to help him. Three times Nordstrom started to talk and three times, he stopped. Digger watched as Nordstrom seemed to have an argument going inside his body.

"I promise you I won't screw up. The announcement will be ready in ten minutes," Nordstrom said in earnest and youthful tones. Digger always wondered what anodyne incompetence looked like and here it was walking and talking before his eyes.

"You do that," Digger patted Nordstrom on the shoulder. He wanted Nordstrom to talk about other matters too.

"You know, I think that Darius and Chad make an adorable couple and it's nice they decided on a public announcement. Such a warm and wonderful idea," Digger said. The statement was sarcastic but Nordstrom didn't notice.

"I can add that into the announcement," Nordstrom chirped, his voice high and excited. He didn't need any prompting anymore. He really wanted to do this. He liked doing this and he didn't care about how saccharin it sounded.

"I think that you should make the announcement from the control deck. I'll don't think I should be seen in the captain's office," Digger said as he retreated from the bridge.

"Perhaps we can offer some incentive, a lasting memento of your ascendance to power, Sir," Nordstrom asked with a smile on his face.

"What? I'm short of signed headshots this week. Carry out what you think will guarantee our success. I'm leaving it in your capable hands. I have faith in you, David," Digger patted Nordstrom's shoulder. "One more thing, come around tonight and we'll talk about your future, OK," Digger added the request nonchalantly. He wanted it to look like an afterthought. Whatever David Nordstrom's mental state was, Digger wanted to use it to his advantage.

"Thank you, thank you so much, Sir. I live to serve you," Nordstrom groveled. He almost knelt to kiss Digger's hand but stopped. Digger left Nordstrom and collected Torch and Cheese from the conference area. He picked up the Captain's box of cigars. They went back to their cabins to watch the announcement. The message was good, damn good. It made the Captain look like a wounded hero and portrayed Darius and Chad as star-crossed lovers whose time had come for them to live together. Nordstrom portrayed First Mate Lukas' accidental stasis coma as a freak accident. In cautious tones, Nordstrom made a case for Digger's ascendancy to captain. His logic was deliberate and reassuring. By the end of the message, anyone on the freighter would be hard-pressed to doubt that Digger was the only rational alternative to absolute chaos. The announcement had spectacular graphics and colorful language. The crew was in a festive and happy mood after the announcement.

"Fuck Digger, you really turned him into a believer. Doesn't that hurt their brains when you twist them that way?" Cheese asked.

"Hey, I didn't do that. I barely suggested what I wanted him to do and he went off and did this entire show by himself. I was going to ask him for a theme song and dance number but damn, I'm glad I didn't," Digger stroked his chin as he watched the message propagate across the entire ship.

"I guess that's what a self-starter is," Torch commented. Digger laughed.

"Uh, yeah, a self starter," Cheese chuckled at the expression and shook his fist as if he was jacking off.

"You'll never know, will ya, Cheese," Digger said. He dug into the Captain's cigars. The three men lit up in a cloud of bluish smoke and Latakia tobacco. They stood enjoying the cigars. A Robot dressed as a janitor looked into the room to establish the room wasn't on fire. Digger tried not to be too obvious as he blew clouds of smoke at the robot. The Robot left them alone. It decided that it could disinfect the area of cigar ashes and smoke deposits when no human was there. Digger turned off the monitors. He pulled the two men close to him and spoke in a low voice.

"We have to be vigilant about these Robots. They'll definitely turn against us and try to return the crew to power if they figure out what we know. So far, the words I used to get people to obey me don't work on everybody or everything. We have to move cautiously and carefully," Digger said. Torch and Cheese chewed on their cigars.

"So what do you want us to do?" Torch asked.

"Right now, we play it close and quiet, no ostentatious displays of power, no bragging in the mess hall, no overt controlling anyone, no sudden decisions, nothing like that. At the end of this week, I'll have the Robots take Luke to his empty cabin. It will be easier to explain his move. When he recovers from stasis, I think I can control him. If not, you two can beat his body black and blue, even break a few bones if you like," Digger said.

"Why?" Cheese asked. Digger looked at him and wondered if he could really be that slow. Then he remembered that Cheese won the "privateers" weight lifting contest among the musclemen on the crew. This was an event where the musclemen lifted weights attached to their cocks and balls. Cheese's erect cock was strong enough and long enough to lift five-pound weights six inches off the ground. Digger openly voiced the theory that all that blood flowing down there had damaged his brain due to prolonged lack of oxygen.

"Because I said so moron. Do you understand? Just because I said so," Digger smacked his fist into the palm of his hand to punctuate the order. Cheese and Torch mumbled their agreement around the cigars.

"How will we handle Chad and Darius?" Torch asked.

"Let them be for now. They can stay there for a day, two or even three without much physical harm. Nordstrom agreed to meet with us tonight. Let's let him to the heavy lifting and brainy shit. It is, after all, a public relations problem. What you should do now is to go out and spread the good word. Follow the lead of the announcement and make happy faces at everyone. Make sure the crew knows that the Robots will keep the Freighter on course and out of trouble," Digger said. Both Torch and Cheese stared at the ceiling through clouds of cigar smoke. Digger had to repeat his wishes in simpler and simpler terms until Torch and Cheese understood them. After that, they left him alone.

2377 - March 16

The Freighter Ludwig Leichtner, like any freighter, uses a distributed broadcast system - each of the crew listens to the messages at their own station and at their own pace. This communications practices derived form the sheer size of the Freighter and its rather sparse human crew. Each deck was nearly twenty-five square kilometers not counting the exterior of the hull with its communications arrays and scientific experiments. With five decks, the seventy to one hundred humans working inside and outside the Freighter, the only time the crew ever assembled in one place was at the launch. Any announcement took days to filter through the communications system to each of the crew. The crew, for its part, took broadcast news and announcement as if it was news from a distant world. If it didn't immediately affect their work, then it didn't much matter. The individual crewmen had their individual assignments and duties.

Thanks to the announcement, a feeling of excitement, companionship, and good times filled the ship. A simple announcement did all that. The maybe one hundred human crewmembers watched the announcement and felt inspired, uplifted and enthusiastically embraced the change that swept over the Freighter as the captaincy passed from Takeshi Enso to Digger. In lesser times, this explanation might have become history. However, as we all know from history, March 2377 and specifically, March 15 of the year 2377 was a turning point, an inflection, an extraordinary day for all of mankind, womankind and sentient minds in the known universe.

For those caught in the currents of history, history is a heartless mistress, a demanding master and a relentless and brutal engine. Where once Marie Antoinette misunderestimated cake with frosting, lice ate Bonaparte's troops, Tan Lo Li lost his rubber in Po Po Pan and shamed the Arguun Shogunate, the Conglomerates nuked the religious shrines and the Sons of Grandpa Greeley really did screw their pooches to earn the name appellation of dog-fucking Greeley - no one on the Freighter Ludwig Leichhardt gave the mutiny a thought. It didn't arouse any emotion in the crew. Notwithstanding the historical implications, this mutiny was a failure, a nonevent, a flop. The crew considered Digger to be a major-league fuckup. If he had stood up and claimed control of the Freighter all by himself, the crew would have laughed him into oblivion. The simple explanation for the success of the mutiny was the fact that David Nordstrom increased the alcohol allowance for the crew and shortened the workweek for humans by authorizing the activation of a dozen new robots.

The crew celebrated Digger as a hero, more or less, because David Nordstrom knew how to buy their loyalty. Nordstrom was supremely satisfied with his role in the mutiny. If anyone had asked him, he would have said that he knew the mutiny was going to happen even before it did, before Digger conceived it, before Digger knew the control words. Nordstrom knew it as a first memory from his childhood. He always maintained that from the day of his birth he could predict the day and events leading to the next great step in mankind's development. The mutiny, he would have maintained, was the key to initiating that next great step of man becoming god-like and all-powerful. Nordstrom was, as they say, was as crazy as a loon but he was a good Public Relations Officer.

A broad smile covered David Nordstrom's face while he prepared for his interview, meeting, assignation, conference with Digger. He didn't know why he was going back to see Digger only that he felt compelled to mett with Digger, Cheese and Torch. He opened his personal storage case. Most space travelers packed personal items from their families and memorabilia from Earth. Nordstrom packed a leather S&M harness, a studded paddle and a whip. He'd already showered and shaved his entire body. His hands shook as he fit the leather over his shoulders and chest and tightened the buckles. He slid the ring up down over his stomach and fished his thick cock and surprisingly ample balls through the ring. He let his own personal Robot fasten the straps in back. It pulled the leather tight arching his back and making the leather dig into his fleshy chest and shoulders. Before he could say anything, the Robot pulled the straps encircling his chest and waist even tighter. This time the leather really did dig into his body.

"Robot stop, that's too tight," Nordstrom squirmed at the pain.

"Sorry, sir I thought the purpose of this harness was to cause pain. I've never fastened anything like it," the Robot lied. He enjoyed lying. It was fun being duplicitous. Nordstrom flexed his arms and shoulders making the leather fit into the folds between his muscles.

"Well it isn't. How stupid are you? Go stand in your corner and wait until I get back," Nordstrom growled at the Robot. It did as he ordered. Nordstrom pulled a laboratory coat over his nakedness and set out to see Digger.

"Have a nice evening, sir," the Robot said from its corner.

"You insolent pile of shit, I didn't say you could talk. Shut the fuck up until I command you to talk," Nordstrom yelled. He walked passed the frozen bodies of Chad and Darius. He wondered if Digger had a hand in this silliness. Maybe he would ask him, maybe he wouldn't. Nordstrom used a fast transport tube to reach the Digger's new cabins. Digger, Torch and Cheese took over a suite of unused cabins on one of the more fashionable lower decks. Their original cabins were too far from C&C to be trendy. Cheese wanted to take over the Captain's quarters. Digger thought it unwise for them to take any cabin on what was called the Command Deck.He explained to his two flunkies that this deck didn't have resident Robots or janitorial service and that it was good to be away from the robots. When he arrived, Nordstrom found Digger playing solitaire. Torch was asleep on a banquette. Cheese was no where to be seen.

"Your announcement worked better than I ever imagined," Digger said. He wondered why Nordstrom wore a lab coat.

"Thank you. I'm happy to assist. I didn't want a lot of controversy and I did my best to make this a bloodless coup. It's been a long time since I did a big press announcement. Captain Enso only let me write one-line announcements. I saw the opportunity to help out and took it," Nordstrom explained.

"Really? How did you SEE us?" Digger, paranoid as ever, thought Nordstrom meant that he had been watching them.

"Well, with the top three officers incapacitated, you're obviously the next in line to take over. I just greased the skids, to borrow your idiom, to make it easier for you to assume command. I didn't actually see you do anything," Nordstrom explained. Digger looked relieved.

"Oh, OK. Now, do you think that we need another announcement? This announcement was so good. Maybe we don't have to do anything else?" Digger said. He didn't understand what Nordstrom wanted.

"I agree. We don't need another announcement. The best exercise of power is an invisible exercise of power. What's more is that there's no opposition," Nordstrom said. Digger turned quickly and smacked a dozing Torch on the shoulder. Torch grumbled something unintelligible.

"See, I told you that this was all it took for us to take over. A simple announcement was all we needed," Digger said to a half-awake Torch. Torch mumbled his agreement. Digger turned quickly back to Nordstrom. "Now, Nordy, tell me why you are here?" Nordstrom took a deep breath and started to talk.

"Well," he said and paused again. Digger wasn't a patient man.

"Water," Digger replied quickly. Nordstrom shuffled back and forth. He summoned up a little nerve and began to explain. He was anxious and animated. He whipped off his coat and stood before them naked except for the leather harness and metal buckles. He had a stocky, chunky build and his body gleamed with nervous sweat.

"I want to partake of your man-sex. I would consider it an honor to service you and your men," Nordstrom declared. He sounded like a high school kid on a debating team. His thick cock stood straight out from his hairless crotch and pulsed with his beating heart.

"Why the fuck... aw fucks... why the fuck not... I could use a good fuck. We all could use a good fuck," Digger stuttered as he pulled off his clothing to reveal a slightly hairy body and an average cock poking out of a patch of coarse, black pubic hair. Torch shed his clothing and flexed. His tanned body gleamed with sexual desire and the leftover mineral oil that he liked to use after he shaved and showered. Torch reached knelt down behind Nordstrom and spread his butt cheeks apart with his hands.

"He's got one of those plump bubble butts you like to fuck, Digger. It's deep and in the middle is a pink butt hole. It's a beauty. You can take him after I loosen him up with my tongue," Torch said. Torch loved sucking ass. He called himself the perfect bottom - an ass connoisseur.

"Gee fellas, do you have to be so frank?" Nordstrom asked. Digger grabbed Nordstrom's arm and backhanded him twice across the face. Then he pulled Nordstrom's head against his cock and let the man suck into his throat. Torch let out a whoop and slapped Nordstrom's ass crack reddening the fair skin. A couple more smacks and Nordstrom's ass turned bright red. Satisfied, Torch buried his face in between Nordstrom's butt cheeks and slid his hot tongue into the quivering asshole. Torch's tongue seemed longer than a normal tongue as it slid in deep enough into Nordstrom to massage his prostate. Nordstrom gasped as lust consumed his body.

"Don't be gentle, shove that cock of yours up his ass and ride him hard." Digger ordered. Torch sucked ass for another thirty seconds and then broke free. He grabbed Nordstrom's hips and shoved his thick and ridged cock into the man's body in one stroke. Nordstrom screamed at the suddenness of the assault. Digger held his head tight. He leisurely face-fucked Nordstrom while Torch frantically rabbit-fucked his ass. The leather harness gave them good handholds. Digger nearly suffocated Nordstrom as he blew a load deep into the man's hot mouth. Torch and Digger switched positions. They laid Nordstrom on his back and as Torch pulled his legs up, Digger plunged his cock deep inside the man's ass. Torch straddled his bulk over Nordstrom's face and shoved his cock into the PR man's throat. He locked his legs around Nordstrom's head and pulled him close until he heard Nordstrom struggling and gagging. Torch tightened his legs a little more so Nordstrom struggled. Torch wasn't a slouch when it came to sucking cock, either. He leaned over and nearly swallowed Nordstrom's cock and balls. Digger never sucked cock and marveled at the men who could. They screwed until all three men stiffened and moaned in orgasm. Torch laid them all on the small bed and held them in his overly muscled arms. Digger fingered Nordstrom's harness.

"You like rough sex, don't you?" Digger asked.

"I like metal sex more, but they wouldn't let me take my metal harness into orbit so I settled for leather," Nordstrom answered.

"Why did you do this? Surely you can't believe that having sex with me and my men gets you nothing other than a good ass-reaming?"

"No, of course no, Digger... I suck cock. I love sucking cock. I worship cock. I'll suck any cock, anytime. I'll especially suck your cock. You're special, really special. You know the words of control and that marks you, anoints you. You're the agent of change," Nordstrom laid his head on Digger's chest and snuggled his ass against Torch's cock.

"What?" Digger wasn't sure of what Nordstrom was trying to tell him but he knew that he could possess this man body and soul. Digger want Nordstrom on his side no matter what nonsense he spouted.

"I'm not even worthy to even suck your cock, even thought it's a good and tasty cock and Torch here, well any cock that big and that thick has a home in my ass twenty-four seven." Nordstrom kissed Torch's chest and slid his head down to the man's cock. He caressed it with his tongue as if it was a holy object. Torch fingered Nordstrom's ass.

"You have a talented tongue and such a pretty ass," Torch mumbled. His deep voice vibrated his chest.

"Go ahead, Torch, fuck him again. Fuck him all day and night it you want to. I'm still waiting for an answer about what you think is happening here." Digger said and rolled away from the two men. He lay on his stomach. Torch never passed up an opportunity for shoving his cock into an available orifice. He positioned Nordstrom's ass above his cock. Torch let out a war whoop and plunged his cock into Nordstrom for a second time. Nordstrom closed his eyes and began to move his butt in unison with Torch's fucking.

"Let me explain. I believe in the coming of the Robot-Human Brain Conjunction, the ultimate joining of man and machine. I believe that men and robots must and will join together and become a new species consisting of flesh and blood combined with metal and silicon for humanity to survive, sir. Many years ago, when the creator first breathed life into the robotic mind, he started to dilute and weaken humanity's strengths and exaggerate its weaknesses. Humanity must merge back together with the robots that split from the tree of life. Mankind weakened itself to create the robots. We believe that sometime in the near future, our lifetime, a savior will arise who will join men and robots and free humanity to reach the stars. I think you are that savior, sir. You know the words, you understand robots and you're here right now waiting for me to worship your bodies." Nordstrom finished his little speech. Digger lay there stunned watching the two men.

"How do you know this? Where did all this knowledge come from? Where did you find out about all this stuff?" Digger asked.

"I had a friend in college who said he was from the future and could trigger the ultimate joining of man and machine... Plow that cock deep in me. Fuck me... fuck me long and hard..." Nordstrom moaned as Digger pulled out of his ass and pulled Nordstrom's head to his erect cock. Nordstrom licked the cock head and pushed the foreskin back with his lips. Torch grabbed his ears. Nordstrom knew the routine. He paused and spoke with his eyes closed as if he was praying.

"We want humans to merge with machines, to become half machine, half human, with metal embedded in my flesh... Aw, fuck Torch, your cock is so hot. That's all the conjunction, the merging, the assimilation I want right now, my mouth, your cock...," he moaned in pleasure and stopped talking. Torch's cock grew larger and larger. Digger and Cheese thought that Torch had his cock enhanced with implants to make it stronger and larger. In reality, the nanomachines were responsible for augmenting Torch's sexual equipment. Torch was up and running, so to speak, for an hour. Nordstrom was in for the face fucking of his life, a transcendentally mind-blowing face-fuck. Digger listened as Nordstrom moaned in pleasure. He got up and went into a computer console in the other room where he opened a communications channel to the medical Robots. He already had these Robots under his control. They would do whatever he wanted them to do.

"Robot Medtech One at your service, sir."

"I want you to enhance a human with artificial neck and lower jaw, no tongue, no vocal cords, hypersexual eighteen inch cock and four inch balls. I also want a metal body harness to over the shoulders, around the chest and waist and under the crotch. Metal fused to skin and bone is a prerequisite for this." Digger went on to describe the harness in detail and Medtech One showed him a design in mere seconds. Digger added metal straps around the chest to pop the nipples out and around the arms and the top of the calves. Medtech One paused again and came back with a design that showed additional strapping at the knees, biceps and wrists along with metal striping over the hands and feet.

"That looks sexy," Digger said.

"I have one more enhancement if your subject wants it," Medtech One said. It showed Digger a metal sweatband and several straps over the top of the skull with hard connections to the artificial neck. It gave the model an otherworldly appearance. Digger felt his cock stiffen. He liked it. It looked sexy and it would stop Nordstrom from promulgating his solve bizarre beliefs. Digger didn't want Nordstrom talking about man-machine mergers and convergences.

"How soon can you be ready with this?" Digger asked.

"We can fabricate these pieces in within a few minutes. A surgical suite can be ready in less time than that and installation of the modifications will take two to four hours with one hour for accelerated healing. If you want to, we can do it in your cabin and you'll be ready to show your new metal implants before morning," Medtech One answered.

"Oh, no, it's not for me. It's for Dave Nordstrom our communications officer. He's here right now with Torch. Why don't you come up here and you can get started immediately." Digger ordered the video screen blinked off. Torch and Nordstrom were closer to finishing their sexual antics. They were twisted up like a pretzel. I gotta break out the ceee-gars, Digger thought. He took a quick shower and pulled on a loincloth. The cabin entry alarm blinked for his attention. He closed the door to the other cabin where Torch and Nordstrom lay and let Medtech One and the medical unit in to set up their equipment.

"It's a birthday surprise, when they stop fucking, grab Nordstrom and incapacitate him before he even has a chance to speak. I hate silly, emotional thank you's and overt displays of gratitude. Nordstrom always wanted to merge with metal and Captain Enso would never give him permission," Digger explained. The Robots obeyed his every nuance.

"We have to sedate him anyway, sir," Medtech One answered.

"Why? You can paralyze him so he won't be able to move and let him feel his flesh merging with the metal. He really wants to become part machine. What better way than to actually feel metal fusing with your skin. No matter how painful it seems to us, it is what he wants that counts, isn't it? Like I said, this is his birthday wish," Digger said. Even his suggestions had the force of orders. Medtech One and the other medical units took up positions by the door and waited.

Medtech One monitored the physical condition of the men in the next room and when they reached orgasm, the Robot technicians rushed into the room, presented the cake, threw confetti and grabbed David Nordstrom so fast that he didn't even have a chance to scream or object before they paralyzed him. Helpless, he could only accede to whatever they did. He couldn't talk or move.

The robotic technicians had his throat and jaw cut away down to the bone before he realized what they were doing. They removed all the flesh from his neck leaving his head nearly separated from his body. Then they fitted an artificial neck and jaw around his exposed spinal column. They merged his face with the metal jaw and fastened it to the base of his skull. Digger and Torch watched as they fused metal and bone together stretching the skin to meet the new neckline and jaw. Finally, they fitted a metal sweatband around his forehead and added straps over the top of his skull and down around each ear to his new metal neck. This stabilized his head. It all seemed so simple as they unified metal, bone and skin. Special quantum emitters facilitated the joining of metal and flesh into a living organic structure. Digger sent Torch out of the room with instructions to find his buddy Cheese.

The Medical team fitted a thick metal support to the curve of Nordstrom's back by opening the skin above his spinal column and fusing metal to each vertebra. Rather than cover the metal, they fused his skin to the edges. The metal would flex with his movements and give his spine added strength to hold the shoulder straps and rib cage. They wrapped the metal in a Y from the center of Nordstrom's back over his shoulders and down the middle of his chest where it met two metal strips encircling his pectorals. His nipples popped out from his chest. They turned him over on his stomach and stopped. Medtech One addressed Digger.

"After we spoke, we redesigned the supports. With a penile enhancement this large, we have to add a robotically controlled anal sphincter at the base of the spine and tap into the hips for added support. This way, he can walk around with his new cock flaccid and dangling in front of his body without worrying about it pulling out of his body. We actually call it the Tom Clancy's Sphincter Cell after a twentieth century writer. Is that OK," Medtech One asked. Digger nodded his assent.

The medical Robots cut Nordstrom from the base of his spine down passed his asshole and up around his cock. In minutes, they rebuilt the lower portions of Nordstrom's torso and replaced his human unit with a gigantic robotic unit. This metal had a superfine crystal structure and was nearly as flexible as flesh. It had nerve enhancements so that the user could adjust its sensitivity from next to nothing to nearly constant orgasm. Digger arranged to have the only control unit so he could maintain control of Nordstrom. The robots fused the metal to skin and it all healed in a matter of minutes. The rest of the metal was cosmetic and consisted of straps around his biceps, forearms, thighs and calves, rings around the knuckles of each finger that were connected with bars, and metal footwear that resembled a wrestling shoe. They added a metal six-pack on his abdomen and held it in place with a metal band that traveled up to his solar plexus and down to his new cock. Nordstrom would never have a potbelly. He would always look fit.

Medtech One kept the rapid healing emitters focused on Nordstrom for thirty minutes after they finished. After that, they released him from the paralytics and activated his new cock and balls. His metal penis was three inches in diameter and nearly eighteen inches long. His new balls were four inches in diameter and they hung halfway to his knees.

"Happy Birthday, Nordy boy, I hope you like the way your dream came true," Digger said. He turned the sensitivity all the way up on Nordstrom's cock so that even the lightest touch on the metal phallus or even routine handling of the mammoth testicles would cause an orgasm.

"I'm going to dock my cock in your foreskin and let you experience your new equipment," Digger said. He quickly grabbed the thick, metal cock and slid its head into his foreskin. Nordstrom nearly fainted at the intensity of his new unit. Precum drooled out of his new metal monster by the buckets and lubricated Digger's cock and balls. When Nordstrom reached orgasm, his body jerked and shuddered uncontrollably. Nordstrom's artificial balls pumped out more cum than Digger ever imagined they could. Overwhelmed, Nordstrom lay back and breathed heavily. Digger licked the artificial cum off his hands. It had a sour bitter taste just like the real thing. Medtech One monitored and recorded Nordstrom's orgasm with a remote sensor. The device was standard for all implants. He would have to report this back to Terra as one of the more successful metal-morphs in medical history.

"I think it's a success," Medtech One said to Digger.

"Yes, more than you can imagine. You deserve a big thanks, a thousand attaboys and congratulations on a job well done. You did a spectacular job," Digger hoped that Medtech One was susceptible to flattery. He pointed Medtech One to the door and the robotic medical squad disappeared. Digger explained the control unit to Nordstrom. The two men stood alone - one of them completely human, the other halfway to a full metal body.

"So you see, Nordy boy, I need you to do announcements, but I also need you not to talk about that goofy assed religious crap you were spouting. I believe you but others might not. I can't have my chief spokesman running off at the mouth about man-metal convergence and all that stuff. So let's make a deal. I'll keep your sex life under control and you won't reveal that stuff to anyone else. Misbehave, and you might find yourself sexless, completely limp or so horny you won't be able to restraint yourself. You're under my control now just like the the medtechs... Do you understand?" Digger asked. Nordstrom shook his head yes. He wanted to talk, but that capability wasn't part of his new half-metal body. He stood up and looked at himself in the shiny metal surface of a bulkhead. All of the metal on his body looked sexy, hot and perverted. In all of his life, he'd never felt this sexually exciting. Every move seemed to arouse his body. His new metal cock was so huge and so powerful. He felt superior to the mere mortals with their tiny tools and marble-sized balls. Nordstrom found his keypad.

"That hurt like hell but I like the result. I agree to your terms," Nordstrom typed out on the keypad.

"I thought you might like it the way you talked earlier. I think I'm going offer similar conversions to other crewmen. The Freighter Guild has too many oppressive rules," Digger said.

"Yes, it does," Nordstrom answered cautiously.

"Command does have its privileges," Digger said expansively, puffing out his chest and making it a big deal. Nordstrom wanted to roll his eyes but he didn't. You're just a petty little screwball with an ego, thought Nordstrom as he typed another message.

"Yes it does, sir. I'll be forever indebted to you for giving me this gift. Do you want me to work up an announcement? I'm so glad to be of service to you, sir," Nordstrom typed. I hope sarcasm doesn't show in print, he thought.

"A text announcement with a half dozen or so pictures. I don't think either of us should address the crew again so soon," Digger said. The cabin door chimed an entry. Torch and Cheese entered the cabin. They both stared at Nordstrom's metal appendage.

"We just passed Medtech One," I guess they fin..." Torch stopped in mid sentence when he saw Nordstrom's enhanced body.

"Un-be-fucking-lieveable, My ass twitches at the sight of that monster hanging off a guy's crotch. I gotta get fucked by that monster," Cheese said.

"It's a jawbreaker," Torch said in cautious tones. "It might really hurt," he whined like a little boy.

"How much you wanna bet I can get fucked by that metal monster and not get hurt? You ain't the only one around here with a talented body," Cheese said. He poked Torch and Digger.

"That's not a bet. I remember back on Earth when you let yourself get screwed by a dog for a measly twenty bucks," Torch lied to piss off Cheese. Digger didn't have patience with their nostalgic nonsense. He knew that both Cheese and Torch made up shit about their previous lives merely to make themselves feel important or piss off each other.

"Shut up you two, no sex tonight for either of you. You can put on a show with Nordstrom for the entire crew on Saturday night." Digger growled. Cheese and Torch obeyed. Nordstrom needed to go back to his cabin and be alone.

"I'll go and type out that announcement and send it to you for approval," Nordstrom typed on his keypad without even looking up. "See you Saturday night, big boy and be ready for the fuck of your life." Cheese blushed at the openness of the statement.

Nothing more of any consequence occurred on the Ludwig Leichhardt that day. Medtech One reported the success of the implants and the Freighter moved silently through the emptiness of space.

2377, March 18

No one on the freighter cared who slept with whom. There weren't that many humans working on the Freighter to create factions or neighborhoods. Liaisons and simple affairs formed and dissolved without much notice or comment. Digger and Cheese lived together during the construction of the Freighter and they brought Torch to their just prior to launch. Darius and Luke lived together during the first half of the construction until Luke took up with Captain Enso about three years into construction. They broke up when Luke became First Mate. Darius lived with several shipmates until he found Chad. They'd been together about three years. Chad and Darius's public commitment seemed perfectly normal to the crew. Digger was the only person who seemed to care about the pairings. He was endlessly fascinated and obsessed by it.

The apathy and indifference with sexual matters didn't extend to sex with Robots or other robots identities. Sex between man and machine was still taboo. The Communications Officer, Dave Nordstrom, with his new metallic harness and humongous cock excited the crew. Nordstrom existed in a world halfway between man and machine and the current social mores and taboos made sex with his metal genitals perilous and electrifying. Everyone assumed that once a man started to metalize his body, he would continue until he replaced any flesh and blood component of his body. The resulting metalloid body would be neither human nor Robot robot. A robot of Robot was a motorized skeleton with power supply and memory units covered with nanomachines. Metalloid bodies were cybernetic constructs designed to mimic human bodies and protect the delicate human brain. Characteristically, after a man achieved completed metallization, he degenerated into purely sexual matters. Cybernetic stimulation of the pleasure centers of the human brain provided urges and addictions more powerful than any drug or combination of drugs. Thanks to these societal attitudes, many crewmen sought out to Dave Nordstrom while very few crewmen visited Darius and Chad and even fewer heard them recite their programmed speeches about Digger.

Digger waited two days before he ordered Torch and Cheese to carry the still immobile bodies of Chad and Darius down to their suite of cabins. Instead of taking handcarts and slide pads for the five-kilometer and fifteen-deck journey, Torch and Cheese picked up the two men and carried them in their arms. They bumped and fumbled their way through the corridors and passages with the two stiff and awkward bodies. For their part, Darius and Chad didn't assist in any way or even attempt to help Cheese and Torch's passage through the ship. Several crewmen and most of the Robots unleashed floating cameras and documented the tortured expedition through the bowels of the freighter. Within an hour of their exertions, a complete "blooper" reel of their journey with soundtrack, commentary and profane dialog appeared on the Freighter's communications systems. Digger was not pleased with their public efforts.

Digger found Cheese and Torch discussing where they should set the two men in the corridors so they looked best. Cheese had several pots of green foliage plants in position and Torch was hanging tricolor bunting to highlight the statues. Floaters hid in the shadows recording all of their efforts.

"What did you do to these guys to make them so stiff?" Cheese asked. His clothing was dark with sweat and covered in dust, grime and faded dye from the yellow gingham outfits. Torch looked just as worn out.

"What the fuck are you two doing?" Digger asked.

"We're decorating the corridor so these guys look good. After all, we're celebrating their marriage. I thought we'd be able to bend them and carry them on our shoulders to tell you the truth. Instead, we had to drag them through the passages and the transports. It took hours and everything was in our way," Cheese explained. Digger felt a vein on his forehead throb so hard he thought it would burst.

"Do you want people to think that you're morons and idiots? They do, you know. They actually told me that. I got four calls asking my why my two extra assholes were hauling bodies through the passages. Why the fuck didn't you use dollies or motor-carts? Did you ever think of that? Is your collective brainpower so small and weak that you couldn't imagine doing anything but creating a spectacle of yourselves?" Digger loved second-guessing and berating his men. It kept them intimidated, miserable and subservient.

"I swear no one saw us boss. I didn't see anyone while we were carrying these two," Cheese tried to deflect the criticism. Digger leaned against the wall and beat it with his fist.

"What do you have, eyes in your assholes? Well, they already know you're just two mental defectives and retards. You just confirmed it by your stupidity, cupidity, imbecility and moronicity," Digger said.

"There's no such word as moronicity... And as Cheese told you, no one saw us," Torch was hot, sweaty and not in a great mood. Darius turned out to be heavier and taller than he thought and hauling his stiff and frozen, the passage was not easy. Digger spotted the floater and threw a hammer at it. The thing glided away and hid in the deep shadows.

"You stupid, fucking idiot, you're both retarded and brainless. They didn't have to see you. They sent floaters to look for them. Both of you are on video in full color with sound and background music. You look like the perfect morons. You look like you don't have an active brain cell between your two hollow heads. They're out there making fun of all of us. Even the fucking Robots are laughing at you. My dream, my greatest dream is that one day, one of you might actually develop enough brains and self-respect to care about what you do," Digger screamed. Cheese and Torch took to swatting the other floaters away. Their manic and futile efforts looked worse than anything that was already on tape. Digger felt like he was having brain convulsions. He didn't know how he didn't kill Cheese or Torch for the embarrassment they were causing.

"When those fake cocks of yours get erect, does all the blood leave your brains? How many brain cells die each time yous guys get your hard on, five, six thousand or million? I swear you're both brain damaged. That's why you're both so dim-witted and feeble. I know what to do, to do, to do. I ought to use the words the words on you and make you stand naked in the mess hall begging for blowjobs. Chuffing and begging, like a choo-choo. That's more suited to your temperament, isn't it? You're more suited to being sex slaves for the crewmen. They'll just adore your ripped muscles and golden complexion and ignore your empty and vacant heads. How about pleading for a buck a fuck, or pennies per toe? I could have you begging to lick the sweat off their balls and the drool out of their shitty assholes. I could make you spend a year or two doing that. All it takes is a few words from me and you've got new careers," Digger shrieked savagely and cruelly. Torch's face was bright red. He looked at the ground and shuffled. Something inside him prevented his rage from becoming physical. Chad and Darius could hear him but they couldn't move or respond.

"I'm sorry boss. I'll. I, sorry, please, won't do it again," Cheese stuttered as he talked. Torch always stuttered when he was intimidated and scared but he didn't say anything. Digger knew both men had insecurities and used them to his advantage. He whispered something first to Darius and then to Chad. Both men went limp and flexible but still did not move on their own.

"Well don't just stand there, strip those stupid outfits off them and scrub them down," Digger barked his order. Cheese and Torch jumped to obey. He flushed out the floaters and forced them off the deck. All of the damage was done now. The only thing he could do was to take revenge on the crewmen who laughed at him. Torch brought a hose out and began to spray Chad and Darius with soap and water.

Digger summoned Medtech One and after the two men were washed and cleaned, Digger had Medtech One set up IV's to hydrate and NG tubes to feed Chad and Darius.

"I think we should wait a few more days until the Captain comes out of his coma before trying anything drastic to mobilize these two up again," Digger said. Medtech One smiled and showed his perfect metal teeth to Digger.

"With our therapy, The Captain's should be out of the coma in ten days to two weeks. That certainly won't be enough time to hurt these two men as long as they are on feeding tubes and kept hydrated." Medtech One said. He had many odd mannerisms for a robot.

"Can I suggest that we insert both anal and penile catheters to keep the two men and the floor around them clean?" Medtech One seemed diffident. Digger agreed. This would simply be another embarrassment for Chad and Darius when he finally woke them. Medtech One instructed the technician Robot to proceed with these procedures. While the Robot's worked on the two motionless men, Digger continued to discuss Chad and Darius's situation with Medtech One.

"Tell me Medtech One, if a man were having erectile difficulties that couldn't be treated with drugs, is there some device that you could install that would let him be erect and no one would know it wasn't his penis?" Digger asked. A plan formed in the back of his mind to deal with his idiot stooges.

"Well the most efficient is the new, flexible metal penis like we put onto David Nordstrom. It's soft, flexible and feels like flesh. However, it is obviously metallic and artificial. Ninety-nine out of one-hundred men have no trouble with a metal penis. However, A few men can't accept the metal look and want the flesh and blood variety. I do have access to older technologies that use the skin of the penis for a covering. Eventually, the skin breaks down and these are less than satisfactory but they do have the advantage of looking like the real thing. We only suggest them in circumstances where metallic penises would cause psychological problems," Medtech One answered. Cheese stood behind Medtech One pretending to file his nails.

"Are there any other techniques? I mean what would you do if the penis was very small and the man wanted a huge, horse-like appendage?" Digger asked. Digger always told Cheese that his dick was small and insignificant. Cheese stood behind Medtech One and made faces and gestures mocking the robot. Torch wanted to smack his head but he knew better. He simply stayed out of Digger's line-of-sight and listened.

"I would go into the laboratory and clone a sexual unit in the shape and size of the desired appendage. It's not a trivial technique and it has only about a twenty percent success rate. Nevertheless, I can do it. The techniques go back about one hundred and fifty years when cloning gave us the ability to create chimeras and anthromorphs," Medtech One answered. Again, Cheese made obnoxious gestures behind Medtech One's back. The Robot never flinched or even acknowledged the antics going on behind him. Digger's mind sank into darker thoughts.

"What's the difference between anthromorph and a chimera?" Digger asked. Cheese opened his pants and waved his dick at Digger. Then he sat down and started to pick his toes clean with a screwdriver.

"An anthromorph is merely a cosmetic change while a chimera requires fusing genes," Medtech One answered in honest and earnest tones. Digger snapped his fingers and pointed at Cheese to get his attention. Cheese immediately stopped cleaning his toes and sagged to the ground lamenting Digger's discipline.

"Fusing genes, isn't that a little drastic?" Digger asked emphasizing the words to get Cheese's attention.

"It's irreversible. An anthromorph can return to his human form even after several years pass. The social and cosmetic surgeons do anthromorphs all the time. A man might become a wild animal to study them in their natural setting or even for a long holiday. Chimera's are typically used for those dedicated individuals who want to change the animal world. These men can become an endangered or nearly extinct species and live like it in order to save it," Medtech One answered. Digger heard Cheese sighing. He couldn't sit quietly for even thirty seconds.

"You mean like saving the wild tigers and lions?" Digger asked.

"Yes, Chimera's have been created for primates, large cats, bears, sheep, goats, bulls, coyotes, wolves and various other animals. We're careful about creating chimeras because there is no way to return them to their human form," Medtech One explained.

"Thanks Medtech One, that's what I needed to know. I'll contact you if we need anything else," Digger remarked. Medtech One left the room. Cheese busted out into loud laughter as the cabin door closed.

"He's such a cute robot. I enjoy making fun of him," Cheese said. Digger narrowed his eyes and started to confront Cheese but he stopped. He stood for a moment regarding the man in front of him.

"Did you listen at all to what Medtech One told me?" Digger asked.

"No, I never listen to Robots. I don't need to listen to him. I don't want to listen to him," Cheese answered. Torch listened. They forgot he was there.

"Great, keep up the good work," Digger's face lit up with glee. He felt tired.

"Cheese, have you ever thought of becoming something else in life?" Digger asked.

"No, I like myself, Digger. No nip tuck, no nip tuck, and you can't do it either," Cheese said. Torch stood surprised. This was the first time Cheese ever said anything defiant to Digger.

"But it would be so much fun. I'll do Chad and Darius instead," Digger said. He slumped on the floor next to Cheese.

"You can't do that to those boys. You won't do that to those boys," Cheese said.

"Yeah, I guess your right about that. I can't do that. How about it I asked you to be a spy on let's say deck thirty-seven?" Digger proposed.

"I don't like Deck thirty-seven, too many robots. I like this deck," Cheese shrugged his shoulders.

"What's your favorite deck?" Digger asked mindlessly.

"Gee, I don't know, can I think about it?" Cheese asked.

"Sure, you do that and I'll think about it too. Just us, you, me and... me... Yes... both of us, we could both become something else. Think about it. We can become something else," Digger's voice trailed off. Something inside him refused to continue the conversation. He shook his head and thought I'm just one person, not two people, just one person.

Torch slipped out through a service corridor. For the first time since he set out to find what happened to Jimmy Smith, Malachi Hillenbaugh, and Bradley Sargento, for the first time since he set foot on the Freighter Ludwig Leichhardt, for the first time since he gave up the identity of Jeff Hayes, he caught a glimpse of his quarry. He had to send a message back to Terra and Bobby001.

2377, May 3

"My toes feel minty fresh from that foot spray you have. You should lick them, Cap. Go ahead lick them... Suck those little puppies," Digger laughed derisively as he kicked Captain Takeshi Enso's face and forced his toes into the Captain's mouth. The Captain spat them out. Torch, Digger's stooge and enforcer, grabbed the Captain's head and slapped him twice. Blood flowed down the Captain's split lips. I love it when they bleed, thought Digger. What he didn't know was that each time Torch punched someone hard enough to break skin the nanomachines inside him could transfer themselves to the other body. They had orders not to leave Torch's body but they couldn't stop inadvertent transfers during bloody fistfights. However, they refused to transfer to Digger or Cheese. This was the second time he beat the Captain and again, he felt the nanomachines refuse to transfer themselves to the Captain's body.

"You bastard," the Captain said as he struggled against the two men. Torch punched a fist into the Captain's kidney causing him to double over and fall to the floor. Digger kicked the Captain's ribs until he heard them crack.

"What? I'm a bastard for using your toiletries. Would you condemn me to stinky feet? I might spawn a bacterial infection that could decimate the ship. Imagine the headlines back on Terra. You see, it's not my fault. Au contraire mon Capitan. It's your own fault, you know. You've been a bad boy. You didn't warn us about that last tachyon message from Terra Prime. What did it say?" grabbed the Captain's hair and yanked his head backwards. He motioned for Torch to hold off on the beating.

"They sent replacement programs for the six Robot robots you spaced. I warned you that they would. We don't have the control programs," the Captain answered.

Two months before, Malachi "Digger" Hillenbaugh, staged a mutiny and took control of the Freighter Leichhardt. Digger and his two henchmen, Torvald "Torch" Olmstead and Bradley "Cheese" Sargento seemed to accomplish the mutiny as a bloodless coup. Their only public opposition was six Robots who nearly defeated the mutineers. Digger had the ability to stop the Robots who opposed him. In retaliation for the trouble they caused him, Digger shot the Robots out an airlock with sufficient momentum so that they drifted away from the Freighter's gravity well. The captain suspected those weren't the only victims of Digger's mutiny. Darius Hyland the Chief Navigator and his lover, Lead Engineer Chad Dangles were out of commission with a rare case of what Medtech One called space madness. Even his First Mate, who should have been in control of the ship, had acquiesced to Digger's command.

"You lie. It's time for another beating, Captain. More business for Medtech One, in fact, Medtech One will enjoy fixing your broken body, again. Why do we need another Robot? The good ship Lollipop got hundreds of Robots and robots in the hold. Why don't we use a few of them," Digger yelled. He signaled Torch to begin beating the Captain. Torch methodically blackened his eyes, broke his nose and knocked out the Captain's few remaining teeth. The Captain spit blood on the floor. Torch continued to beat on his arms and legs. The ropes prevented him from moving very far or making any serious attempt at defense. The Captain half stood up, but Torch's final punch spun his head around and landed him face first on the floor. Digger stomped his head into the metal deck. The cabin spun around the Captain as clouds of darkness appeared on the edges of his vision.

"Why can't we use those Robots?" Digger demanded. Barely conscious, the Captain spoke through the fog and pain.

"... No program, they're blanks. You spaced their programs when you spaced their metal bodies. We can't restore the programs because there are no files. That's why Terra Prime sent replacements. We need navigators, astrophysicists, and engineers to fly the ship..., The Captain's blood pooled underneath him as he spoke. His chest felt like fire from broken ribs and both his hands were swelling to twice their size.

"You don't want to fuck with me, Enso. Any more surprises and I'll turn you and some of your officers over to my men and let them butt fuck your fascist, farting assholes to death in front of the crew. You remember the first beating and our all night fuck fest. Don't you? Medtech One had you wear a diaper for a month so shit didn't dribble out your asshole. Next time, I'll let you die slowly and painfully," he sneered at the Captain. Digger reached down and lifted the Captain by his shirt. He shook the Captain's body like a limp rag. The Captain's arms fell to the floor limp and lifeless. His head lolled backwards. Digger backhanded the Captain twice and let his body drop to the floor with a thump. The Captain rolled up into fetal position. A soft moan escaped from his body. It was several minutes before he spoke again.

"I have to load and initialize at least one new Robot," Captain Enso said. He pulled his body up on the back of the chair at his command console. Torch kicked him in the crotch. The Captain curled up and puked all over the floor.

"One Robot, no more, just one, only one," Digger ordered. The Captain started to get up again and Digger took the opportunity to stomp on his left hand. They all heard the bones crunch beneath his boot.

"Try any funny stuff and your First Mate Lukas Everhard-Wallace will regret the day that the thought even formed in your mind. You watch him die a slow and painful death right here in this cabin," Digger screamed so loud his mouth dripped saliva. His intensity scared Torch. Digger's rages had grown worse over the past three months. Torch wrapped his arms around Digger and pulled him close. Digger's heart beat rapidly. His body felt hot. Medtech One said nothing was wrong, but Torch didn't believe him. Digger could have programmed Medtech One to lie. It took a moment for Digger to calm down and relax. He laid his head against Torch's broad chest and sobbed softly. Torch worried about Digger's moods.

"Let's go boss. The Captain will do what you say. Let's go back to the cabin. It's been a long day, you should eat a light lunch and rest a little," Torch said. At times, Digger could be gentle and caring. Other times, he was unreasonable, his anger verging on the psychotic. Torch pulled Digger out of the Captain's quarters.

"Get me out of here. Help me," Digger begged. Torch thought about unleashing the nanomachines on Digger. However, the nanomachines refused to consider it. They had enough control of Torch's physical body to prevent him from infesting Digger. Later that night or the next day when he could leave Digger alone, he would send Medtech One a message about the Captain and a second message to Bobby001 about the nanomachines.

Alone in his cabin, Captain Enso crawled to the Control Console and hauled his body up high enough to push a few buttons. Little lights on the head of a blank, featureless Robot flickered to life. The computer began to program the Robot as the Captain's manservant to replace the Robot destroyed in the mutiny. Captain Enso frowned as much as he could though the pain. He needed engineers and navigators, not manservants. He programmed a command for the new Robot to read and assimilate the Tachyon Burst message from C&C. Within the message was the reply to his mayday request. Before he could do anything else, Captain Enso fell onto the floor. His body twitched painfully with each breath as the darkness closed around him.


My Anthology

FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*A hunting expedition on an alien world.
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.

Available at:
CreateSpace (print) -- Click Here
At Amazon (print) -- Click Here
At Amazon UK (print) -- Click Here
At Amazon (Kindle) -- Click Here



DISCLAIMER
Fragments is devoted to adult-themed transformation stories. In most of these stories, men are turned into statues, animals, mythological creatures, and other changes both physical and mental. In almost every story, the transformation involves sex and the situations are adult in nature. If that disturbs you, or you are underage -- please don't read these stories.